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I don’t get to many used Masterbuilt Strats into stock – I get even fewer Todd Krause Strats into stock – So yes I’m excited to be able to offer for sale a Fender Masterbuilt Todd Krause 1963 Relic Strat – A used model from 2015 that has barely been played – With an aged sunburst finish, a black scratchplate and an aged gold trem assembly, you can’t help thinking it has something of an SRV vibe about it – Maybe that is a plus point, but the guitars biggest attribute is it tonal character and playing performance, so let me touch on all the key details below – New Low Price – Was £4890 – Now £3599 – Sorry but no part exchange option at this new low price

The aged relic vibe is not for everyone, yet equally I feel a shiny new gloss finish, on what is after all a replica of a 55 year old guitar, somehow looks wrong – Maybe the battered and bruised heavy relic approach is to far for many, so a light relic approach is somewhat of a sensible compromise and this is effectively the aged character of this Strat – Plenty of lacquer checking but the wear and nicks are far more subtle than many other Relic Strats – A thin nitro finish sits on a light weight and highly resonant alder body which allows the guitar to breath and ring – A thicker base coat is required to support a shiny gloss finish and to prevent it from sinking in to the body, which in turn strangles the guitars natural resonance, so this is one of the reasons many players buy into the aged vibe – It looks played yet cared for, with all the hardware, scratchplate, knobs and covers lightly aged accordingly to enrich that played in character – Of course the other big plus factor of an aged finish is that you can play it on a regular basis without giving it the kids gloves approach – So buy it and play it as often as you can, then fully appreciate it for what it is and that is a mighty fine Strat

Playing performance :- With a classic Oval C profile, the comfortable feel of the neck instantly takes you back to Fender’s early 60’s golden era – It is spec’d with a light honey tinted nitro finish, which in turn has been cut back for that dirty/worn ‘played in’ from day one experience – The bottom line is the neck instantly captures the comfortable feel of a great early 60’s Strat – However to enhance the playing performance that today’s guitar players require, you’ll find a set of 6105 medium jumbo frets sit on a rosewood fingerboard with a 9.5″ radius – As such a set of 10’s now feel slinky – This allows you to easily handle those emotional pentatonic  blues bends – Yet even set up with more of a fluid playing action, you’ll have no problems with any choking out – The whole approach is to deliver  a user friendly playing experience for both chord work, digging in and attacking big blues bends, or slick legato licks

Tonal character – To me the first test of a Strat is how it responds to an unplugged test – If it sounds like a wet cardboard then put it back down and walk away – I often quote that ‘it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing’ – So yes this Strat has a lively unplugged voice and you can both hear and feel it ring – So now hook it up to your favourite amp – The overall character is that it is always warm and melodic, with good body, plus a lively and crisp voice that is never thin – Plenty of snap and attack, plus very responsive to you, the amp and how you play it, so caress it for more of a tender approach, or attack it for more of a percussive voice – Neck pick up is lush and crisp, with big piano lows and transparent mids, so expressive for chilled out chords, melodic licks or driving SRV style shuffle bass lines and chord stabs – Bridge pick-up is musical, with enough bite to drive the amp, yet not hit that ‘ice pick attack’ voice – Leave the volume pot on 10 and it has just enough attitude about it, yet roll the volume pot off just a touch for a slightly softer approach – The two out of phase settings on 2+4 of the 5 way switch are infectious – Warm and melodic with more body on the neck/middle combination and more crisp on the middle/bridge combination and of course plenty of quack, so you can easily just sit on these two combinations for long periods – Like any good Strat it will allow you to morph from funky disco chops , soft melodic Gilmour, Lush Little Wing , Texas Shuffle, or classic blues/rock

Expressive qualities :- It is so easy to simply leave the Strats volume and tone pots on 10 , yet this will seriously limit the guitars full emotional ability – Set the amp up with some overdrive and play around with the Strats volume pot until you find that magical sweet spot, whereby it is nearly clean and chilled out, yet still with just enough gain to stop it sounding bland – Let this be your base camp and chances are for many playing style it will handle most of your requirements – It still retains the guitars full expressive qualities without losing any goodness, but more of a tender approach – Now dial in a touch more volume, hence extra gain, until you venture back towards 10, so as and when required, you have that extra ‘turbo boost’ available to you – Then either utilise more gain on the amp, or a boost pedal, for hi-gain levels for classic rock mode – The same approach on the Strats volume pot will allow you to dial in more or less gain as required – On 10 it will be on the edge of fizz with bite and attack, whilst 6-8 will deliver a smoother character – hence you and the guitar totally control the amp, hence so much soul, emotion and expression – Variations on the volume and tone pot are subtle yet highly effective

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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A journey, now in excess of 40 years, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.

I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.

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